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Apricots are harvested in July, the soil underneath the trees is covered with a plastic cover sheet and the trees are shaken so the fruits fall onto the covers. Fruits are then filled into plastic containers and either carried into drying areas for natural drying without any preservatives or to sulphuring rooms if they will be treated with sulphur dioxide (SO2) to maintain their bright orange colour. Without sulphur dioxide apricots will turn brown due to enzymatic reactions.
Fruits are then carried to the drying fields and left under the sun for a few days. This initial drying helps release the stones of apricots from their flesh which allows to remove stones manually. Apricots are then put back onto the drying area to complete drying.
The Turkish province of Malatya is the centre of the world’s dried apricot industry, supplying more than 85% of world’s production, due to its unique climate conditions and soil properties.
At the origin processing plants, dried apricots are first graded by the number of berries per kg using vibrating sieves, washed, re-dried to remove excess water during washing, sorted to remove defects and packed.
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